staying busy during time off

Skipped blogging yesterday and worked on church stuff instead. I managed to come up with anthems for the rest of the season (through the middle of June).  This kind of work is pretty absorbing. At this stage in what I do, I want the repertoire to work on several levels. I want it to be well crafted. That’s something I have paid attention to all my career as a church musician. But in addition I want it to be music that has a spark of some kind of attraction beyond mere craft. This is much harder to define.

Also, I have to factor in the actual people I think will be performing the music. Will I have enough singers to pull off an anthem? Is there a likelihood they will find something attractive in the music?

Another thing I think about is how will this music enhance the worship of the community. Will it provide a resonant addition of meaning and beauty that could possibly make sense to this community in this time and in this place?

Someone at church recently pointed out to me that I do much more than is required. I take this to mean that I could get by with a lot less work and careful planning. This is certainly true and sometimes I opt for the easy road just to survive. But attempting stuff that I determine will stretch myself and my community is much more fun. Important to be realistic as possible about reaching out of the comfort zone because one of the basic mistakes church choirs make is to perform medium difficult music poorly.


Eileen and I also took my Mom out for lunch in downtown Holland  yesterday. I can say it that way because she actually allowed us to treat her. Usually she insists on paying for lunch. Afterward, we had a nice walk in the sunshine down to the fudge shop. Mom bought some fudge for herself and some for Eileen. Then we were off to my Mom’s favorite shop, the Dollar Store. After a quick trip to Walgreens we took Mom back to her place.

We came home and I did some hauling of stuff for Eileen for her garden. She is hoping that some material she ordered will come in the mail today so she can finish planting strawberries.

Eileen helped me in the afternoon by putting the new anthems in the choir folder slots while I practiced organ. Then we went for drinks and appetizers at the pub. Another busy day off.


Here are some bookmarks from a cursory look this morning. Haven’t read any of these yet, but will read or scan sometime.

Michigan House approves cuts in funding for education | Lansing State Journal |

West Ottawa Schools (northern Holland Michigan area) did not renew it’s millage. I can’t understand how people think our society will be able to continue without systematic education.

Facing protests, Pscholka withdraws from Blossomtime parade | Michigan Messenger

Pscholka sponsored our recently passed Michigan Emergency Manager law.  He is pissed off that people are going to picket him in Benton Harbor. Where they recently put in a Michigan Emergency Manager. Ahem.

House approves penalty for colleges that offer partner benefits | Michigan Messenger

Hatred of people with different sexual orientations continues to be fanned by politicians.

Dick Cheney, the President Will Take Your Apology Now | Mother Jones

Dick Cheney is someone I have difficulty respecting. From a loud vocal “Fuck You” on the floor of the Congress to “Deficits don’t matter” to meeting behind closed doors with oil companies the first year of Bush’s term, I just think the guy is way off base.

RealClearPolitics – Torture Is Still Torture

Eugene Robinson, the author of this article, continues to insist on the truth that torture did not lead to Osama. And that torture is a stain on our national honor. I’m with him on that last one for sure.

All the frogs croak before a storm: Dostoevsky versus Tolstoy on Humanitarian Interventions | openDemocracy

High-Quality DNA – Print – Newsweek

Lone Frank writes about young scientists in Beijing in the world’s largest genome facility.

Faulty Towers: The Crisis in Higher Education | The Nation

The Intimate Orwell by Simon Leys | The New York Review of Books

‘I Tried to Stop the Bloody Thing’: an article by Adam Hochschild | The

American Scholar

War resisters to WWI.

Simon Blackburn Reviews Stanley Fish’s “How To Write A Sentence” | The New Republic

Boston Review — Junot Díaz: Apocalypse (Haiti, Japan, earthquake, tsunami)

Junot Díaz is a writer I admire. This appears to be his blog for the Boston Review. Cool.

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